Cyfip2 allelic variation in C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NJ mice alters free-choice ethanol drinking but not binge-like drinking or wheel-running activity.

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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2023;47(8):1518-29.








National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grant/ Award Number: R33DA050837 and U01DA041668


BACKGROUND: Since the origin of the C57BL/6 (B6) mouse strain, several phenotypically and genetically distinct B6 substrains have emerged. For example, C57BL/6J mice (B6J) display greater voluntary ethanol consumption and locomotor response to psychostimulants and differences in nucleus accumbens synaptic physiology relative to C57BL/6N (B6N) mice. A non-synonymous serine to phenylalanine point mutation (S968F) in the cytoplasmic FMR1-interacting protein 2 (Cyfip2) gene underlies both the differential locomotor response to cocaine and the accumbal physiology exhibited by these substrains. We examined whether Cyfip2 allelic variation underlies B6 substrain differences in other reward-related phenotypes, such as ethanol intake and wheel-running activity.

METHODS: We compared voluntary ethanol consumption, wheel-running, and binge-like ethanol drinking in male and female B6J and B6NJ mice. When substrain differences were observed, additional experiments were performed in two novel mouse models in which the B6N Cyfip2 mutation was either introduced (S968F) into the B6J background or corrected (F968S) via CRISPR/Cas9 technology.

RESULTS: B6J consumed significantly more ethanol than B6NJ and allelic variation in Cyfip2 contributed substantially to this substrain difference. In contrast, B6NJ displayed significantly more daily wheel-running than B6J, with Cyfip2 allelic variation playing only a minor role in this substrain difference. Lastly, no substrain differences were observed in binge-like ethanol drinking.

CONCLUSIONS: These results contribute to the characterization of behavior-genetic differences between B6 substrains, support previous work indicating that free-choice and binge-like ethanol drinking are dependent on partially distinct genetic networks, and identify a novel phenotypic difference between B6 substrains in wheel-running activity.

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